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The New York Knicks’ slogan of “Once a Knick, always a Knick,” is taking a big PR hit.
Former Knick great Charles Oakley has filed a civil suit against Knicks owner James Dolan, the Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Sports & Entertainment.
Oakley got into a heated altercation with the Garden security staff during a game in February and was escorted out of the building.
Per ESPN New York, Oakley was later arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, one misdemeanor count of aggravated harassment and one misdemeanor count of trespassing.
Here’s more from Ian Begley of ESPN New York:
In the civil suit, Oakley alleges that Dolan, Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Sports & Entertainment committed defamation and libel by publicly accusing him of committing assault and stating publicly that he suffers from alcoholism. It also alleges that the defendants’ statements were slanderous.
The suit, filed by attorneys Douglas Wigdor. Renan Varghese and Alex Hartzband, also alleges assault, battery, false imprisonment and abuse of process. In addition, the suit alleges that the defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Human Rights Law by denying Oakley access to Madison Square Garden based on their perception that he suffers from alcoholism, a disability.
“Whether it was because of resentment for Mr. Oakley’s passionate following among Knicks fans, anger that Mr. Oakley would not “kiss the ring” of the heir to the Madison Square Garden empire, or petty insecurities driven by his own personal demons, Defendant Dolan constantly disrespected Mr. Oakley, refusing to make eye contact or shake his hand during meetings, denying him the type of fan appreciation nights given to much less popular and successful members of the Knicks, and even making him purchase his own tickets to attend games at the arena he called home for a decade,” the suit states.
The Knicks continue to prove that they are a walking disaster from top to bottom by treating one of the best players to ever play for them with such disrespect.